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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 15, 2015 1:00am-3:01am EDT

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alternative. the current situation in guantanamo bay has a number of negatives. the high costs, as i mentioned, several times almost $3 million an inmate. then the international eyesore that guantanamo bay is. not just to terrorists. i don't care about them or care what they say or how they feel about us holding people at guantanamo. but to our allies in europe, to people in the ashe world who want to help us defeat the -- in the arab world who want to help us defeat the scourge of islamic ex-timism. this is an eye shore we should tissue eyesore we should close and we should make that happen as soon as possible. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? >> to oppose the amendment. the clerk: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: i -- the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thorn brother: i yield one -- mr. thornberry: i yield one minute to mr. zinke. mr. zinke: i rise to express one
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soldier's thoughts on closing gitmo. i have no doubt that closing this jeopardizes the safety and security of the united states and our citizens abroad. if the success or the failure of the mission at gitmo is based on the number of attacks against the united states after 9/11, i'm confident everyone in this room would join me in judging the mission has been successful. intelligence collection and national security have been strengthened as a result of gitmo and america remains a safer place thanks to the men and women serving there. coaching dangerous terrorists in a military prison and away from american families is the way it should be done. to me, closing gitmo is simply not an option. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield the remaining part of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves.
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mr. thornberry: i'm happy to yield to another speaker to even the time. i'm happy to yield to the distinguished gentlelady from indiana, mrs. walorski. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. walorski: thank you mr. chairman. i oppose this amendment. everything that happened since last year's debate should force us to be more care wfl detainee decisions rather than lescareful. the rise of isil, the release of the taliban five, the war in yemen are just a few events that remind office the urningtcy of this debate. potentially most troubling is the growing threat of aqap, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, enabled by the power vacuum in yemen. aqap was formed by gitmo detainees. mr. chairman, i believe we need a commonsense policy a detainee policy that protects americans. i urge my colleagues to vote no and oppose this amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington.
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mr. smith: we have only one more speaker. i know they have the right to close but we'll reserve until they get to the last speaker. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i'm happy to yield to the distinguished gentleman from colorado, mr. coffman. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. coffman: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise to oppose this amendment. in march of 2014, the director of national intelligence reported that 29% of detainees released from guantanamo bay have engaged or were suspected of resuming their roles as terrorists. those who remain in guantanamo are the quote, worst of the worst, unquote, so it is safe to presume that if released, an even higher percentage of them will remain a threat to our national security. i struggle to understand why we would close the fwauntaun moe pay bayh detention camp only to finance the incarceration of enemy combatants within the
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united states. the need for a place to detain enemy combatants unfortunately will not go away any time soon system of unquestionably, we need a facility like guantanamo. as we engage an enemy with no respect for borders, we must not move them to our maximum security prisons while the courts determine how we should legally proceed. for our nation's security, i implore you to vote no on this amendment. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i yield one minute to the chair of the -- chair of the investigation oversight subcommittee, the gentlelady from missouri, mrs. hartzler. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. hartzler: thank you. i rise in opposition to this amendment. why? there are many reasons. but the predominant reason is it allows the following people to come to america's shore or possibly be released. here's a few people who are in guantanamo bay that the sponsor of this amendment wants to bring
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here. 16 detainees associated with osama bin laden or other top al qaeda leaders. eight received explosives training, four associated with al qaeda recruiters. two that are knowledgeable about poisons. others involved in a plot against a u.s. embassy volunteer too bad suicide bomber commander of an al qaeda training camp. also k.s.m., the architect of the 9/11 attacks. k.s.m.'s third in command. the mastermind of the u.s.s. cole attack. on and on. the idea of bringing these individuals to america is foolish and makes no sense. we already have a secure fa simity that is working, to constitutional and is keeping americans safe. we need to keep gitmo open. i oppose this amendment. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i yield myself 15
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seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: the only flaw in that statement is the part about them being released in the u.s. that's not going to happen. if that was the plan i'd be opposed to it. but again, over 300 very dangerous terrorists held in the u.s. right now today. we have proven we can do it here . we're not going to bring them here and release them. that's not what i'm arguing for. with that, i yield the balance of our time to the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler. the chair: the gentleman will suspend. the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes and a quarter. the gentleman is recognized. mr. nadler: i thank the chairman for yielding. mr. speaker, i listened to this debate and it sounds as if we have forgotten everything we ever learned about american justice and american liberty. we are told that 29% of the people released from guantanamo have been returned to terror. well that simply says the bush administration did a lousy job
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in deciding who should be released because since then, it's been a tiny percentage. yes, a large percentage of those the bush administration released became recidivists. so the argument is, everyone held in guantanamo should be held there forever. that's the argument. the amendment we just considered a moment ago woulditit even ase anyone from guantanamo. the opposition to this amendment is for the same purpose. we are told that these are the worse of the worst -- worst of the worst. who says? some of them have been -- have never been charged with a crime. have never been charged with terrorism. have been judged safe for release and have been told, labeled by our military, as not being terrorists, not being threats to the united states, yet we continue to hold them indefinitely. why? and by what right? k.s.m. is a me nass, indeed he. is he should be brought to the united states, placed on trial in a federal court, he's been waiting for trial for almost 14
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years because we can't get our military tribunals to work. put him on trial in an article 3 federal court and sentence him life in prison without parole as others have been. nobody escapes from our super max prisons, justice ought t done, it ought to be meted out. we're told people will be released here. we're not demanding that even be released, or that anyone in particular be released, certainly not to the united states. we are saying the normal processes of justice should go forward. we have saying that the fact that someone lived in afghanistan and other tribe had a grudge against his family and turned him in for a bountyven though he had no ties to terrorism, we ought to know that. and that person ought to be released. because we know that about some people. instead, what we are faced with is a statute that says that nobody ought to ever be released, we ought to hold people indefinitely for life, for no reason.
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it poses a threat that the president under the authority of the 2012 law can hold americans in guantanamo indefinitely and we should close it to prevent that too. thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman are from -- the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: i yield myself the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman has a minute and a quarter. mr. thornberry: i don't think anybody says we have to leave quan taun moe open forever or keep these folk the detainees there forever. . it is absolutely true we don't know how long this war is going to go. it is also true that if the president came up with a plan that could get the confidence of the american people first about what he would do with the guantanamo detainees then there may be something to talk about, but unfortunately this amendment would strike the provisions of the bill which prevent them from coming to the u.s. which prevents them from being released to war zones,
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which prevents construction of new facilities and make no mistakes new facilities would have to be built because they can't be co-mingled with inmaints here in the u.s., and it strikes transfers. and then it says, oh by the way, president, give us a plan. how about we have a plan first and see whether that plan stands up to the light of day? at one point the president had a plan to take these folks to new york city and have a trial there but there was an uproar. there was a plan to take them to -- a rehabilitative facility in pennsylvania and there was collects up to 135 amendments are allowed to the bill. more debate and final passage are expected when the house returns. it would allow congress approval of any nuclear weapons deal with iran.
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the house debated the measure before voting. as is about an hour in 10 minutes. i yield myself such time as i might consume. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of this legislation to ensure that congress is positioned to effectively and decisively judge and constrain president obama's nuclear deal with iran should a bad deal be struck. i commend chairman corker and ranking member cardin for bringing this measure before their body. this bill received unanimous support in the other body. and i appreciate as always ranking member engel's cooperation in bringing this to the floor. with today's vote, this legislation will go to the president for his significance mature. the committee has held a series of hearings on the administration's nuclear negotiations with iran. a radical state sponsor of
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terrorism, which is creating turmoil in a strategicically vital region. it is fair to say that there are deep bipartisan concerns about where these negotiations are heading. i fear that the agreement that is coming will be too short, sanctions relief will be too rapid inspectors will be too restricted in iran's missile program will be plain ignored. of course we hope that iran's march towards a nuclear weapon can be stopped. this legislation should strengthen the administration's hand at the negotiating table. but secretary kerry must put its added leverage to use immediately, so that the u.s. can gain much needed ground in the negotiations over the next two months. mr. speaker much of the pressure that brought the islamic republic of iran to the negotiation -- negotiating table
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was put in place by congress over the objections of the white house, over the objections of both republican and democrat presidents and this is unfortunate. we would have more pressure on iran today if the obama administration hadn't pressured the senate to sit on the royce-engel sanctions bill that the foreign affairs committee produced and this house passed by a margin of 400-20. let's be clear, the administration has come around to support the legislation we're debating here today, but not with any enthusiasm. having followed these negotiations since they began in november of 2013, i can tell you that the president would like nothing more than to have no such bill, and have congress sit on the sideline and have them watch an agreement.
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without this legislation in place what is congress' position if the president reaches a deal with iran? currently, there is no limitation on the president's use of waivers to suspend the sanctions congress put in place. no review period for congress to examine and weigh in on the agreement. no requirement that the president certify that iran is complying, and no way for congress to rapidly re-impose sanctions should iran cheat. today, the president can sign a bad deal and we the united states congress are left to read about it in the paper. but with the passage of this bill, all that changes. sanctions relief is frozen until congress receives the agreement and then holds a referendum on its merits. and again i believe this gives the administration a better chance to get to a lasting and
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meaningful agreement. consider the outstanding and critical issue of verification. the ink wasn't even dry on the framework announcement and the chance of death to america led by the supreme leader were still fresh when the leader asserted when the eye tolla asserted that iran -- ayatolla asserted that wouldn't allow access to the nuclear facilities. the head of the revolutionary guard corps seconded that and he said they will not be permitted to inspect the military site in their dreams. when it comes to negotiating this inspections's regime, the negotiators must know that these critical issues will determine congress' assessment of any final deal. once this legislation is signed when secretary kerry sits across
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from the iranians, he will now have on his mind, i've got to take this to congress. mr. speaker, that prospect can only improve these negotiations. and i just hope it's not too late and we aren't too deep into a bad deal. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. . mr. engel: our negotiators continue to hammer out the details of an agreement with iran that will hopefully foreclose all pathways to a nuclear weapon. and as i said again and again, if a deal is struck congress must have a proper role in assessing that deal. that's what we are doing now. that's the purpose of this legislation before us today. and this legislation passed the other body by a vote of 98-1.
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if a deal is reached, one of the things i'll be looking for first, what will sanctions relief look like? will it be a step by step process so that iran is forced to comply with the agreement? how will we ensure that this financial windfall for iran won't just be used to fund terrorism around the world? secondly, will a deal compel iran to come clean on its weaponization work? and thirdly, will iran's leaders agree to a verification and inspection regime that will allow for snap inspections of nuclear sites. snap inspections means that inspectors can go all over iran. they don't need special permission, and we have not been hearing such positive things from the iranian leadership who say that they will never allow inspectors on their military grounds. we need answers to these questions. we need time to take a hard look at any deal and make sure there are no loopholes that iran's leaders might be able to exploit.
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the bill we are debating today would give us that time. my frustration with these negotiations has stemmed from the fact that iran was not required to seize its uranium enrichment while negotiating. we sat down with iran at the very beginning more than a year ago to negotiate with them. we should have said while we are talking you stop enriching. we didn't say that. i think that was a mistake. additionally, we negotiate as iran continues its nefarious behavior around the world. in syria in yemen against israel, support for terrorism. there is no sign that this agreement will lead to iran stopping its support for terrorism or human rights violation. yet massive sanctions relief is on the table. the fact of the matter is it's very frustrating that we are talking with iran only about nuclear weapons. we are not talking about the fact that they are the leading sponsor of terrorism or they are making trouble in syria where so many hundreds of thousands of innocent have died or making trouble in yemen or supporting
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hezzbola or hamas. it's -- hezbollah or hamas. it's really frustrating we are only talking about one program and they are free to do whatever else they want. this should not stand. perhaps the biggest question i have is whether iran's leaders will ultimately be able to make the tough choices necessary to show the world that they are serious about living up to their commitments. this is a high bar to clear. iran's leaders, unfortunately, have give us no reason to trust them. i remain concerned that the messages we are hearing from iran directly contradict what the administration has told us. iran's leaders have said that sanctions will be lifted immediately upon the signing of an agreement. and that iran will never accept inspections of their military sites. this begs the question. is iran serious about these negotiations? we are told that any kind of sanctions relief will be inclemento as iran complies. the iranian leaders are telling their public differently.
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we obviously have to settle this glaring discrepancycy. that's why this bill also includes provisions in case iran reneges on its commitments. if it cheats it will trigger immediate consideration of legislation that puts sanctions back in place. let's hope it doesn't come to that. the best way to avoiding the war in the middle east is a noshted solution to the iranian nuclear crisis. i wish our negotiators success and i hope this legislation sends a clear message that congress is taking its role seriously. that we aren't playing politics with this issue and we want these negotiations to result in a strong verifiable deal that keeps a nuclear bomb out of iran's hands. i agree with secretary kerry when he he says that no deal is better than a bad deal. the question is, we want to make sure a bad deal isn't sold as a good deal. that's why it's important for congress to be engaged. thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from -- the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? mr. royce: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, chairman of the subcommittee on global health -- the speaker pro tempore: will the gentleman sustain? >> we don't object to the gentleman taking the two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. smith: i would like to begin by thanking chairman royce and ranking member engel, senators corker cardin, and menendez for doing their level best in the face of an administration which throughout this process has ignored and sought to exclude the legislature from its constitutional role in ratifying what is in essence a treaty. it is called an executive agreement, but it is a treaty, with the vicious rights abusing tray ran -- regime in tehran to salvage what we can from an
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egregiously flawed framework and process. it is clear from the trajectory of the negotiations to date that the administration has squandered its leverage, gained through sanctions, and that there is slippage or rather retreat from the strong position staked out in a number of u.n. security council resolutions, including resolution 1929, agreed to in 2010, which demanded that iran, one suspend all uranium enrichment. two, cooperate fully with the iaea, ensuring unfettered on site inspection. and three, refrain from any activity related to ballistic missiles. iran is now closer to achieving access to nuclear weapons. and to the missiles to carry them to targets, including cities in the united states, while being relieved of sanctions. from what we know now of the promised framework over 5,000 centrifuges will be allowed. and it's iran's understanding that military sites will be off limits.
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what? off limits to inspection. and that ballistic missiles, the delivery systems for nuclear bombs, are not part of the framework. as a prerequisite to sitting down with the regime in tehran i and others argued that the administration should have insisted that all americans held -- or missing in iran including christian pastor, be released. i am concerned, mr. speaker, that an agreement under these terms, which again we have backtracked these negotiations, will give new meaning to the phrase puric victory. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. ellison: i want to thank the chairman and ranking member for the time. thank the speaker for the time. i just want to acknowledge to my colleagues that we are here to talk about the best way to make sure that iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon.
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i'm convinced that what we do here today is not the best way to do that. i'm convinced that the best way to make sure that iran does not have a nuclear weapon is to allow the commander in chief, chief executive of this country, to negotiate a deal and then congress will be asked to relieve any sanction it is that is warranted and we'll be able to weigh in at that time, which is the proper time. we'll be able to have oversight hearings without regard to this legislation or any other at any time we choose. but this piece of legislation, i believe, improperly in an unhelpful manner restrains the president by tying his hands significantly delaying the implementation of a peace agreement. weakens our negotiating position by strengthening iranian hardliners who will argue that the u.s. will not repeal sanctions even if iran complies with the final deal.
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and three, it sends the signal to the international community that the u.s. congress is setting the stage to vote down a final agreement. compromising our relationships with nato, allies and international partners that have implemented the sanctions regime and brought about iran to the negotiating table. it is very important that we acknowledge it was not the u.s. sanctions alone that has brought iran to the negotiating table. it has been the international community and the cooperation we have enjoyed with the international community that has brought them to the negotiating table. and if we start operating as if we are going to change the deal, we signal to our partners that we are operating in less than good faith. which could collapse the whole sanctions regime internationally. this is not u.s.-iran negotiating. this is the p-5 plus one, and we must keep that in due regard. congress has been important role
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to play in this agreement with iran. repealing statutory sanctions. the deal cannot be implemented without congressional action. there is no reason for us to act right now. the overwhelm thing that acting now will achieve is to undermine the chance of an agreement. now, i believe congress must have oversight. but i don't believe we should make this deal stillborn in the crib before it's even allowed to emerge. we don't want to abort the deal before it's born. the deal should be allowed to come forward and the president should be allowed to make peace with a hostile nation before we start talking about what's wrong with it. we are anticipating what's wrong with it and i don't think that is a helpful thing. at this time i will reserve but i do want to say that there was no one -- we are certainly not under any illusions about human
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rights, about exporting conflict from iran. we know these things are the case. but what do you do when you want to dee escalate the prospect of war? we negotiate that -- negotiate, that is what the president is doing. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserve. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: it's now my pleasure to yield three minutes to the democratic whip mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. first let me say that i agree with my friend who is, i think, one of our very responsible and able leaders in this congress, mr. ellison. i appreciate his commenths. -- comments. i presume that everybody on this floor whatever their perspective is thinks that the objective that the united states seeks and the objectives that our p-5 partners seeks, and the objectives that the united
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nations seeks and that is a nonnuclear armed iran. is best achieved through agreement. i would think all of us would agree on that. the question is, however, for us to make it very clear the objectives of that agreement and how it is achieved and how we are assured that that objective is in fact achieved. mr. speaker, i want to congratulate senator cardin, my dear friend, the ranking member of the foreign relations committee, for his hard work to reach this compromise with chairman corker. and i want to congratulate mr. royce and mr. engel for bringing it to the floor. for quick consideration. this compromise bill allows congress to look carefully at the final agreement. for something of such consequence that is essential, not only is it desirable it is essential that we do so. it will help ensure that our common goal is achieved.
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a nonnuclear armed iran. i will say to my friend from minnesota, my he presumption is the iranians want to get to this. they say they are not looking for nuclear arms. they want to have relief of the sanctions. it seems to me this is in their best interest so they ought to be trying to accommodate this. and i think in fact, this can help not hurt, our negotiating position. i believe this bill reflects the consensus among members of both the house and senate that congress, which authored the sanctions that brought iran to the negotiating table, and i would say again to my friend from minnesota, the reason the sanctions were effective in bringing the iranians to the table is because ourure peaian allies joined -- our european allies joined in them. we don't do much business with iran. the europeans do. he's right. it was in partnership that we
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brought the iranians to the table. i also want to thank, mr. speaker, our negotiating team for their tireless efforts to reach a framework agreement. a letter was recently signed by 150. i didn't sign the letter, but i absolutely agree with the substance of the letter which said the best way to get there is through agreement, and we ought to support our negotiators who are pursuing that end. as i said before, any final agreement must prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and include the most intrusive inspections and access regime we have ever seen in order to verify iran's compliance. there is no reason for us to trust iran. not -- may i have one additional minute. mr. engel: i yield an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. without objection. mr. hoyer: it must address potentially military dimensions
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of iran's nuclear program and bring about iran's full cooperation with the u.n. security council resolution. . the united states must never permit iran to develop a nuclear weapon and we will stand shoulder to shoulder with israel in defense of its security, which is very tied to our own security. that means ensuring israel maintains its military edge including through robust support for anti--missile systems and anti-tudge defense programs and supporting our gulf partner from iran's destabilizing activities. preventing iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is in america's national security interests. a nuclear armed iran is a threat to us all. this bill will ensure that congress can review any final
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nuclear agreement with iran to make certain that it meets the goals we and the president share and which he has articulated emphatically and repeatedly. i encourage my colleagues to support this bipartisan legislation. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. ellison: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. lloyd doggett. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. doggett: there is probably no more critical issue on our national agenda today than this matter with iran. 151 members of the house have joined together to encourage the president to exhaust every avenue toward a verifiable, enforceable and diplomatic solution to prevent a nuclear-armed iran. i would ask unanimous consent to
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insert this communication. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. doggett: while not signing this particular call for diplomacy additional colleagues have made clear that they intend to prevent any attempted congressional veto of a strong verifiable agreement. an agreement not based on trust not based on liking iran, but an agreement based on strong verification and intrusive verification. unfortunately, there are others here in this body who have embraced the wrong-headed advice of former president bush's u.n. ambassador who said to stop iran's bomb, bomb iran. these are some of the same members who rejected the interim nuclear joint plan of action before they had even read it. and they are the same members who were so eager to launch an unnecessary war in iraq that only strengthened iran and who seemed to have learned very
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little from their previous failure and they forget that iran is bigger than afghanistan and iraq put together. another war will not make us safe. bombing may set back iranian nuclear development by two or three years at best, a significantly shorter time than that covered by p-5 plus 1 negotiated agreement but it will make a nuclear weapon more likely. bombing will inflame regional tensions and threaten the security of israel and other allies and will jeopardize the safety of every american family. that does not mean that any agreement with iran is an acceptable agreement. iranian hard liners like hard liners elsewhere may prevent an adequate verification in this geement. but we must use every diplomatic means available especially now
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with the announcement of this strong framework and continue to work and craft a robust plan of action. to do otherwise, to withdraw, to fail to support such an agreement would likely collapse the sanctions among our allies and some that are not our allies but have joined with us in this regime that brought iran to the table in the first place and would only accelerate an iranian nuclear program that would be unrestricted and unmonitored. sanctions which i have personally voted on on a number of occasions in favor of, cannot be lifted without a vote of congress. but that would not occur until we have conclusive evidence of iranian compliance. do you have another 30 seconds? mr. engel: sure. mr. doggett: all of us who do not trust war as the answer must
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continue working together to support a peaceful resolution and overcome the voices whose only alternative is the perilous course of war. we want a strong verifiable arms accord. i favor and will vote for oversight and review today, but president obama should know that he has e support in this house to fulfill our obligations under a verifiable agreement for a safer world and to avoid war. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas mr. mccaul chairman of the committee on homeland security and a member of the committeen foreign affairs. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. mccaul: i rise in support of the act, while far from perfect it will ensure congss has the say on the obama's administration naive negotiations with iran over its
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nuclear program. last week, i met with israeli prime minister netanyahu in israel where i heard once again from our top ally about the deep ncern his country has over the dangerous agreement currently being hammered out by president obama and the eye tolla. for years my -- ayatolla. r years they have ratcd up he pressure on tehran throh the toughest sanctions ever evised. the sanctions passed the congress. last congress, our committee once again passed another robust sanction bill to give president obama even more leverage over tehran. rather than accept our help, the president and his allies in the senate relieved iran of the sanctions, and for what, mr. speaker? for an agreement that allows the rld's leading state sponsor of
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terror to maintain a vast nuclear infrastructure through centrifuges that will never stop spinning. for an agreement that does nothing to address the military of iran's nuclear program and intercontinental ballistic missiles which they should mass produce or for an agreement that frees up billions of dollars that iran can use to fund rror around the world. mr. speaker, congress must have a say in any final agreemen with iran. and this bill will do just that. and i urge a yes vote and yield back. the speaker pro tempore:he gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: it's my pleasure to yield two minutes to the the gentlewoman from new york, the ranking member on the appropriations committee, mrs. lowey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for two minutes. mrs. lowey: i rise in strong support of the iran nuclear agreement review act, which will
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ensure congress' role in evaluating any final deal reached between the p-5 plus 1 countries and iran. the sanctions brought iran to the negotiating table, congress' oversight role is critical. serious concerns remain about the proposed framework particularly the enforcement and the -- of the deal and close all pathways to a bomb. it must include inspections by the agency of any facility, military or otherwise, including three facilities and the possible military dimensions. given its history of deceptions sanctions should remain in place
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until iran has taken steps that demonstrate their sincerity. we all want a diplomatic solution, but as long as iran leaders continue to refer to israel as a barbaric jewish state that quote has no qure but to be annihilated end quote, we must approach any deal with the utmost scrutiny and i urge immediate passage of this important legislation. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. ellison: i yield two minutes to the the gentleman from washington state, dr. mcdermott. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. mcdermott: permission to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker none of us want nuclear weapons in iran. and while the white house may
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regard this bill as the least harmful option offered by a persistently intractable congress, a congress that has sought to derail all his efforts in the past, i cannot and will not support this particular piece of legislation. of all the foreign policy of president obama, this is the boldest and the one that could have a meaningful impact on regional and global stability. the options of war or increasing the sanctions have run their course. the time has come for diplomacy. the framework that the administration has presented to us is fair and smart. it is a good deal, one that guarantees the world safe from the threat of iranian nuclear
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weapons. we all await the details. all of this argument out here is about people who are sure what the details are going to be and this is not the time to pass this legislation. president obama, secretary kerry and our partners -- and don't forget, this is a historic thing where we have partners in the p-5 plus 1. and they deserve credit to a diplomatic solution to arguably the most dangerous and complex foreign policy challenge of our time. we need to give the president and the negotiators the time they need, the time for us to make decisions about what happens about the sanctions will come to this floor. there's no question about it. you don't need to pass a bill saying we don't like what the president's doing, because we ought to be grateful for the tenacity with which he has persisted in this diplomatic
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effort. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: let me yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlelady from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee on middle east and africa. ms. ros-lehtinen: i thank the chairman for his leadership. this bill serves as a reminder of the unanswered questions surrounding the nuclear negotiations with iran. we know iran can't be trusted. everything we have seen from iran since 1979 shows that the regime is willing to lie, to cheat to achieve its agenda. and part of its agenda is to attack and undermine the united states. can we verify iran's compliance? no because iran controls the access of the aeia.
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and hasn't come clean on its nuclear program yet. the regime is likely to get a $50 billion signing bonus in exchange for nothing. what will iran do with that money, mr. speaker? continue to support terror around the globe stoke sectarian violence, repress its citizens and today five iranian boats shot at a cargo vessel in the gulf. can we snap back sanctions? oh please, the idea is laughable. china and russia have stated that they will not be any automatic snap back sanctions whatsoever to re-impose on iran even if the regime is caught in violation. once again the obama
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administration is playing a game of smoking mirrors and cement a legacy that the president has been seeking since he entered office. the deal is dangerous and will jeopardize our national security. thank you mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. it's my pleasure to yield three minutes to the ranking member on the middle east subcommittee, a very valued member, mr. deutch of florida, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. deutch: i thank my friend for yielding. i rise in support of the nuclear geement review act. when it comes to the security of our nation and our partners around the world, the american people deserve a voice, but when congress is unable to review or respond to policies of great consequence, like a potential nuclear deal with iran the american people have no voice. in recent days, we have heard
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another debate about another major international agreement also negotiated in secret the transpacific partnership. why do i bring it up? some of my colleagues who oppose this critical legislation have serious concerns about t.p.a. and t.p.p. i share those concerns. i oppose fast tracking without the details on protecting jobs and workers and the environment and consumers. and without any chance of making changes. likewise today, i asked my colleagues to acknowledge and respect my concerns about approving a deal today with iran when too many questions remain unanswered. on matters of national security and international security, bullet points in a framework just won't do. before iran gains access to billions of dollars in frozen assets, i want the details. i want details on sanctions and access to military sites and
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unannounced inspections and you should, too. no one knows what a final deal will look like, but if we get one, congress should resue the terms and on behalf of our constituents, congress must have a say. i urge my colleagues to support this important legislation. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. ellison: we yield three minutes to the gentlelady from california, ms. lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for three minutes. . ms. lee: also, i want to thank our ranking member, mr. engel, and chairman royce, for your leadership on the foreign affairs committee and for the bipartisan work you have done over the years together. the poison pills have been taken out of this bill by the other body, and i still have concerns about the timing and the effect of considering this
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legislation but the president believes this legislation, as written, will not undermine the administration's efforts. all of us have the same goal and that is to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. as negotiations over iran's nuclear program enter a critical phase, congress must give the president and our negotiators the space they need to succeed, and with the announcement of a framework agreement last month, we are closer to a strong and verifiable agreement between the p-5 plus one countries and iran. h.r. 1191 would require the congress be given an opportunity to review any final agreement on iran's nuclear program before the president can waive or suspend any sanctions. supporters of this bill argue they simply want to ensure congressional oversight of any final international agreement and of course we all believe there is a role for that. but we know that since negotiations began, there have been countless initiatives by congress to purposely and
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deliberately thwart the success of a final deal. any efforts to undermine the negotiations or final deal with iran over its nuclear program will not make us safer and it will not stop iran from developing a nuclear weapon. in fact, it will do just the opposite. negotiations with iran have already led to a first-step agreement that has significantly reduced iran's nuclear stockpile and their ability to create a nuclear weapon. without these negotiations in the current framework agreement, iran's nuclear program would be unmonitored and unrestrained. continued negotiations remain the best route to ensuring national and regional security while preventing us from going back on the path to a confrontation with iran. and the deal with iran has the support of the majority of the american people. in april, an abc/"washington post" poll found that americans by a 2-1 margin agreed. we simply cannot afford the
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alternative to the negotiations and the alternative to the negotiations with iran is war with iran. instead -- congress should be working to ensure their success. now, let's hope this bill does that. i hope that this congress does not use passage of this bill as a cynical ploy to set up a vote against any final deal should there be a deal, one that prevents iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. simply put, diplomacy is the best way to cut off any potential pathway to an iranian nuclear weapon. may i have an additional 30 seconds? mr. ellison: may i ask how much time the parties have left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota has eight minutes. mr. ellison: certainly, the gentlelady from california 30 seconds. ms. lee: i conclude, in 2013 i called for an end to the no
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contact policy with iran and calling for a diplomatic initiative. i am convinced that is the only way to ensure regional stability. let's hope that president's legacy does include ending a war with iran. what a great legacy to leave the world. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. zeldin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. zeldin: i thank mr. royce for his leadership on this issue as chairman of the foreign affairs committee as well as mr. engel from new york for his leadership as the ranking member. americans want to know what is in an iran nuclear deal. they want their representatives in congress to debate it. and as facts come out, it turns out this is a bad deal which
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many were concerned were on that pace for they want congress to reject it. i had colleagues just now talking about a nuclear framework agreement that was announced last month. people saying it is a good deal . there is no framework agreement . the president released the fact sheet within 24 hours to the iranian foreign minister when on his twitter feed the ayatollah chanting death to america on the streets of iran saying that fact sheet was just a spin. in order to have a deal to reach an agreement both sides need to agree. the message to the colleagues today, this vote matters but the work is not over. the tough work, the tough votes are still ahead. let's talk about what's not even part of the negotiations. iran's state sponsorship of terrorism. work to overthrow foreign governments. pledging to wipe israel off the
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map. chanting death to america on the streets. unjustly imprisoning united states citizens. that's not even part of the deal. that's not even part of the negotiations. i want to read it. my constituents want to read a deal in english. they want to know it's accurately translated and the iranians are reading their deal the same way we are. if there is no agreement on specific terms, is there broad, vague language being used so that both sides can spin whatever they want to interpret this deal is for whatever best serves their own domestic politics? we are elected to represent our constituents and they're concerned about the direction of this deal. i have grave concerns. i feel like it's on pace to trigger a nuclear arms race in the middle east. i urge a yes vote and i thank the chairman again for his effort on this cause. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: it's my pleasure to designate two minutes -- yield
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two minutes to ms. frankl, a very respected member of the foreign affairs committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. frankl: thank you mr. speaker. i rise in support of the bipartisan iran nuclear agreement review act, and i want to remind everyone why it is so important that we prevent iran from becoming a nuclear state. iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism supporting hamas, hezbollah and the brutal crackdown in syria. iran's efforts to expand its influence is destabilizing iraq lebanon and now yemen. the iran regime systematically violates its own citizens' basic rights. and as terrifying is the potential for nuclear proliferation. if iran becomes a nuclear state, we will see a regional
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race for the bomb, spreading the world's most dangerous weapons through the world's most unstable region. mr. speaker, congress played a critical role in bringing iran to the negotiating table. iran cannot be trusted, and congress must continue to be vigilant. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i reserve the balance of my time mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. ellison: mr. speaker at this time i would yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. price. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. price: i thank my colleague from minnesota and rise today in cautious support of this legislation. our nuclear negotiators with the cooperation of a fragile coalition of long-standing allies and new partners, have made historic progress toward
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preventing iran from developing a nuclear weapon, a critical foreign policy imperative for our country. we must continue to give diplomacy a chance and allow our negotiators to build on the framework agreement they negotiated earlier this spring. many of our colleagues in the house of representatives agree, mr. speaker. just last week congresswoman schakowsky congressman doggett and i sent a letter to the president urging for assistance in the negotiations, a letter signed by 148 of our colleagues. diplomacy isn't just the best way of preventing a nuclear armed iran. it's the only way. opponents of the president's efforts have yet to provide a single viable alternative to diplomacy short of military action, and military action, defense experts tell us, would only delay nuclear development for a few years. while i can understand why some members of the house and senate insisted upon congressional
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review of a final deal with such historic implications, i have strongly refused to support legislation or other congressional intervention that was likely to drive iran from the negotiating table or to alienate our international partners. we must not set impossible goals for these negotiations or insist that every outstanding issue our country has with iran is resolved before the core nuclear issue can be addressed. the bill before us, which is a product of a thoughtful compromise between senator corker and senator cardin, republicans and democrats, does none of these harmful things. it's free of riders designed to undermine the negotiations and it provides a reasonable path forward that allows for congress to weigh in on a final deal without setting it up for failure. so i rise in cautious support of this bill because i believe it clears the way for the
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president's negotiators to do their job. to work with our international partners to secure a comprehensive verifiable nuclear agreement that will prevent iran from developing a nuclear weapon, and thereby will make the world a safer place. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from illinois, mr. dold, a member of the financial services committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for two minutes. mr. dold: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank chairman royce for your leadership. ranking member engel for your leadership as well. ladies and gentlemen, mr. speaker, i believe the greatest threat we have to our own national security here is a nuclear armed iran a entity that has said time and again they want to wipe israel off the face of the map, that they want to drive them into the sea, that they are the little satan. which naturally begs the question, mr. speaker as to who is the big satan, and it's
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the united states of america. this is a framework the framework that's been announced the one that iran basically said we didn't think that was the framework. the chance of death to america what they said is they have to take all the sanctions off immediately upon the signature of a deal and that they will not be granted access, the iaea, to inspect the facilities that are military facilities. well, frankly, that's not a deal. i recognize that's a framework and what we're debating today is really talking about congress having the ability to say, is this a deal that we can live with or is it not? because frankly leaving iran as a nuclear threshold state is not going to be a deal. what we're going to be debating today is in essence just allowing us to be able to take the next vote. that's the important one. madam speaker, this is not left versus right. this isn't about republicans
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and democrats. this is about right versus wrong. this is about making sure we do this right. if we don't do this right, if iran is set for a path to a nuclear weapon, it is going to set an arms race in a dangerous neighborhood that will be devastating for peace and security around the globe. this is one where we are going to join hands together as a nation to make sure that safety and security of the world is what we're going to put and foremost. madam speaker i just got back from israel. i had the opportunity to speak with people on multiple sides. to the person they are all united behind the idea that a nuclear armed iran is unacceptable and that this will be a bad deal so i urge my colleagues to vote yes on this piece of legislation to allow us to have the opportunity to take a look at this deal to move forward. and with that i sincerely hope this is a bipartisan effort and i yield back, mr. chairman.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. . mr. engel: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, ranking member of the asia subcommittee on the foreign affairs committee, mr. brad sherman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. sherman: thank you. i would like to yield to chairman royce for a colockquee and ask him -- collo qunch uy. that failure to enact that disapproval cannot be read in approving an greem. as i read the bill, if does not enact a resolution of disapproval, the effect is to continue current statutes so the president would retain his
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authority to provide sanctions relief. do you agree? mr. royce: that is correct. i see no way that a failure to override a presidential veto or otherwise enact a joint resolution of disapproval would be construed as congress approving a bad iran deal. it would be the congress didn't have a super majority of votes to stop the president from exercising the considerable leeway he has for the sanctions that are in place. and i would remind the gentleman that this bill gives us the chance to have that vote. otherwise the president could act to waive sanctions the day after a deal is struck. and if people are really worried about congressional intent being misconstrued, we always have the ability to make our inat the present time crystal clear bypassing a resolution or
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concurrent resolution which are not subject to presidential presentment or veto. mr. sherman: i thank the gentleman for his clarification. if this deal is signed i do not think congress will enact a resolution of disapproval over the president's veto maybe not even vote for it on the floor. even less likely that congress will enact a resolution of approval. so we will be in a situation where congress will not have acted and as the chairman points out, congress would not have approved this agreement. if the president signs an agreement, iran will get certain benefits. iran will take certain actions -- mr. engel: i yield an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. sherman: if that occurs iran will get certain benefits and certain money will be made available to them. at the same time iran will ship
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its stockpiles out of the country decommission some centrifuges and thereby delay its effort to get a nuclear weapon and in 2017 and every year thereafter, future congresses and future presidents will have to determine what is american policy. we would be free to demand a renegotiation of the agreement or to simply continuity in force. where a president could reactivate sanctions or continue to waive them. congress could enact new sanctions or repeal. all options will be on the table in years to come. and only thing i'm certain of, we will be on this floor debating iran and its nuclear program for many years to come. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york -- the gentleman from minnesota is recognized.
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mr. ellison: we yield three minutes to the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. blumenauer: i thank the gentleman. measure we are debating today is much better through the hard work of senators corker and cardin and i appreciate their efforts to de-escalate the conversation. it's the wrong message at the wrong time. there are no good alternatives to letting negotiators prevent a nuclear-armed iran. now, congress seldom advances diplomacy. usually we politicize issues playing to the bleachers. our judgment is often suspect. the record from ignoring world war ii misjudgments on vietnam, the reckless rush into the war
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in iraq, even maintaining a foolish policy regarding cuba until the president exercised leadership lately. there is no good reason to interfere now with what the p-5 plus one have done making unprecedented progress, progress we wouldn't have imagined two or three years ago. it is -- they did so using a unified force but with these six countries, using the tools of the sanctions that we could not have imposed unilaterally. and we don't want to lose the leverage of those allies. now, i'm painfully aware of the issues with iran. it is troubling, a number of their activities. it's also ironic that we are -- our interests are aligned in some areas and i will never
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forget on 9/11, there were demonstrations of support for america in tehran. the iranian people actually like america. their leaders do not. and that is why working forward to make this historic agreement a reality could be an important pivot point for the troubled relationships between our countries. make no mistake, there are hardliners in iran just as there are hardliners in the united states who want to blow this agreement up. but i have impressed, taking advantage from the white house on numerous briefings on this issue and reviewing the materials, that we have made tremendous progress. we shouldn't complicate it. as my friends have referenced here there is no good alternative to a negotiated
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agreement with iran. it's the only way we can prevent them from getting a nuclear weapons a reckless rush to war, which others hinted at and others would welcome, would not stop their ultimate acquisition of nuclear weapons. it's very likely to accelerate it. and to imagine going back into that area fighting a country that is larger than iraq and afghanistan combined over a huge area, would be devastating. let's stay the course. let's be patient. let's try and constrain congressional interference. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i continue to reserve, reserving the right to close, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i'm going to close and i yield myself such time as
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i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: madam speaker, my colleagues, this legislation -- let me first say, i appreciate the thoughtfulness that i have heard during this debate from all sides and i think this is really congress at its best. and i'm proud to be a member of congress when i hear debates like this. this legislation was negotiated very carefully to ensure that iran would hear a unified and bipartisan message from congress why is this important? it was congress' work layers and layers of sanctions and mr. royce has been my partner since day one and we worked together, so hard on sanctions and speaking with a unified voice on the foreign affairs committee and we tried so hard to make the foreign affairs committee to be the most bipartisan committee because foreign policy should be bipartisan. and what i heard today from across the aisle here is bipartisanship and it's a good
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feeling. but it was congress' work through layers and layers of sanctions that brought iran to its knees and compeled iran to come to the negotiating table and the threat of congressional action that will compel iran to make the tough choices. but this congressional action must be bipartisan. iran must not be able to dismiss a bill as a partisan stunt. congress must speak with a unified voice. we are stronger when we are unified. the international community followed our lead on iran when we were unified. iran came to the negotiating table when we were unified and this vote should be no different, no poison pills, no messaging items that could torppedo this bill. let's get this bill to the president's desk. i want to repeat, the fact that
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iran was allowed to enrich all these months and months of talking was a mistake, the fact that we are talking only with iran about their nuclear program, not about their support for terrorism, not about americans held in iranian prisons, not about their ballistic weapons, not their support for international terrorism or support for hezbollah and hamas and in not about threats of death to israel and america. i think negotiations are important. i urge my colleagues to vote for this very, very sensible bipartisan piece of legislation. let's get this bill to the president's desk with a single voice. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. ellison: i'm going to close. i want to thank the ranking member and chairman for this considered debate. i will say that i do believe that this is a big deal.
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it's important we debate this. i respect the position i have heard here today, but ultimately i don't think it is necessary and i don't believe it will enhance peace for the united states or the world. i think the things that we need are already in place, which is our right to have hearings on anything we want. the role we will have to play to remove any sanctions, if we are satisfied, and the fact that we don't have to if we're not. we have the cards. we do not have to choke this deal in the crib, which is what i think this particular bill threatens. now, let me say, there is nothing new madam speaker, about what the president is doing here. i have a list of seven examples that very closely correlate to the president's effort to negotiate a nuclear deal with iran. the helskinki act of 1975, the australia dwrupe of 1985. i don't have any time to go into
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what these thingsr but i can say there are a number of situations where presidents, republican and democrat have used their authority to negotiate agreements with other countries and which congress did not have to try to intervene. let me also point out that this situation that we're in, this -- we had the framework agreement and now hoping to get a full agreement, which i'm hopeful and optimistic will be something that is good and meaningful, so far, so good in my opinion, but i want to remind everybody that the framework agreement that has been struck between the p-5, plus one agreement would destroy centrifuges. 97% of its uranium. 97% of its uranium. iran will have zero nuclear capability and we are at a
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historic moment that one keeps iran from getting a nuclear weapon and we need to support this effort. you do not negotiate -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman had two minutes. mr. ellison: i intend to vote no. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i might consume. as we heard today, iran's rush to a nuclear weapon is a mortal threat to the united states and to its allies and when i say a threat consider for a minute that iran has with its forces -- it has forces right now in lebanon. it has forces in syria. it has forces in iraq. and its forces have just helped lead a militia to topple the
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government in yemen, a government that was our ally. that is the type of regime that we are talking about. just weeks ago it was reported that iran was passing tens of millions of dollars to hamas. but they gave a reason, it was to rebuild the tunnels the three dozen or so tunnels that were built underneath israel so that hamas could conduct attacks to try to capture hostages and take them back into gaza. the reason for the strategy is pretty clear, that kind of strategy would ensure that our ally, israel would have to fight block by block by block to get captives back. the one i was in with mr. engel was not far where it came up not far from a nursery school.
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this is the type of regime we are dealing with. it is not just transferring the money, it's also transferring the new rockets and the new missiles to hamas. why were they doing that? because they said the invent tower is low because of the rockets fired off. this is the reality of the types of intentions that this regime has. and many times they telegraph those intentions when they are yelling death to the great satan and the little satan, it's not that they are not telling us and he is the supreme leader. iran's support of terrorism and destabilization in the region will be far more intense if it poses a nuclear weapon or if it had breakout capability. so the stakes could not be higher. that's why we need a good agreement. and i hope that all the members
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support this legislation. it may not be a perfect bill, but it's a good bill. it's an important and responsible response to an administration that otherwise would shut out congress. and i'm sorry it took the white house so long to embrace it. weeks ago, the white house was issuing veto threats and pushing it back hard. were it to pass, it would be the end of plomeds as we know it and now they're on board and with this legislation in place and this is the great upside, congress will be in a better position to judge any final agreement that the president strikes with iran and i believe that our diplomacy will have a better shot because of it. instead of iranian negotiators knowing that they can wear down the administration, this now injects congress as an important backstop. it gives us leverage to address these issues like what we discussed today, to address the
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issue of will our inspectors, the international inspectors, have the right to go on military bases. . i was part of the 19945 framework agreement. to get inspectors to go onto military bases, not having that right to go anywhere anytime had profound consequences. it's why we're dealing with north korea having the weapon today that they possess. we should not repeat that error. u.s. diplomats should now head to the negotiating table with a stronger hand. they should work for a credible deal, a verifiable deal and then present it to congress to be judged, and that's only appropriate given the incredible consequences for the region, for our allies and for the national security of the united states. so i urge the passage of this legislation
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>> up next on c-span, former maryland governor and presidential -- possible presidential candidate bob ehrlich. then a range of issues including syria and iran. and later, a secret service oversight hearing. president obama will pay tribute to law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty over the past year. in 1962, president kennedy declared may 15 as national peace officers memorial day which coincides with police week. we will have live coverage tomorrow on c-span2. on c-span3, e-house veterans affairs hearing about staffing at v.a. facilities.
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this sunday night on "first ladies," we look into the personal lives of three first ladies --rachel jackson rachel jackson died of an apparent heart attack he for andrew jackson took office. his niece becomes the white house hostess but is later dismissed after fallout from a scandal. when martin van buren becomes president, his daughter-in-law becomes the hostess. that is sunday night on c-span's original series, "first ladies," examining the public and private lives of the women who filled the position of first lady and their influence on the presidency.
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as a complement to the series, c-span's new book is available, first ladies, presidential historians on the lives of 45 iconic american women with lively stories of these fascinating women, creating an illuminating, entertaining, and inspiring read. it is available as a hardback or softcover through your favorite online bookstore or retailer. bob ehrlich sat down with wmur in manchester, new hampshire. he has been mentioned as a possible republican candidate in 2016. he will be making stops in new hampshire tomorrow. [applause] host: good evening and welcome to our conversation with the candidate series. our guest tonight's former maryland governor bob ehrlich.
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we will learn where he stands on the issues. i will be asking the candidate some questions. after a break, our studio audience will ask questions in a town hall style format. before that come a quick look at his biography. bob ehrlich was born in 1957 in maryland and a small suburb outside of baltimore. he studied political science at princeton university and co-captained the football team. he got his law degree from wake forest university school of law. ehrlich move back to maryland to work for a law firm and ran successfully for the house of delegates. he was elected to the u.s. house of representatives and would serve for terms and d.c. as a congressman. in 2002, he was elected as governor of maryland. he enacted marilyn's first ever charter schools law. ehrlich continues to practice law and is considering running for president.
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ehrlich is married and has two sons. with that, governor ehrlich, welcome to the show. mr. ehrlich: you got it all right. host: every now and again we get it right. you have been in the news this week because of what is taking place in your home state of maryland, particularly your home state of baltimore. mr. ehrlich: i'll may west baltimore kid, tough times. not unique to baltimore. people have insight into what is going on, there is specific insight being a west baltimore kid, but these are urban areas these depressed areas, this particular area has not seen a lot of economic development in many, many years. the issue of race plays into it. it played into the decision of the governor whether to move the national guard into town. the so-called lessons of ferguson, militarization, all these issues come out like we talked about before the show. the mother who has now gone
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viral, just literally in my view a tangible example of love running to her child to save her child, but also raises questions of the denigration of family and where are the fathers and the quality of public education. they are some of the toughest schools in town. many of them do not have good marks in their ability to educate kids. this is a familiar set of issues, but it's very personal in this context for me right now, and it's the reason i guess you are probably tired of seeing my mug on tv, but hopefully some good comes from this. host: i want to get you on a couple of different things. one, how do you think the leadership reacted in the immediate aftermath? mr. ehrlich: i'm prejudiced. larry hogan, the governor, was my appointment secretary. i worked for his dad.
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i think he has done a good job. i understand the reasons why the guard was called in when it was. the mayor, obviously, not receiving quite so good marks. the issue of allowing -- it appears, ira gillie defended her, but it appears the callout to the police was allow property destruction, let them do that, the whole nine yards, and that resulted in that. give them space, but if your car was between them in your space your car was torched. if your business was between them in the space, your business was torched. host: and you disagree? mr. ehrlich: well, i do. a couple hundred cars were torched, that cvs that you saw, a symbol of this neighborhood. people shopped there. this area is a pretty tough area. but she is now receiving some criticism. i thought she misspoke and that
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her staff did not fix it, but in reality it appeared that she meant what she originally said, which was give them space to do their thing. host: and we will probably get some related issues, but i want to get to a couple other things. you are considering a run for president. i'm sure there is no news to you there others in the field -- mr. ehrlich: there is? host: with such a wide open field, what motivates you? mr. ehrlich: i've been a governor i've been in state congress the state legislature i have been the author of two books, i care about the country. i have a 15-year-old and 11-year-old, two boys. i care about where we are and where we are going, and i don't like where we are going. as you introduced me, you talked about this sense of insecurity considering our economy and culture and national security.
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it's why i wrote my second book. this is my seventh, eighth time in new hampshire. host: foreign policy is a major issue, all the candidates talking about it, whether it is isis, the nuclear deal with iran , or our general approach to people. mr. ehrlich: nobody is going to say they are surprised. the president said no precondition, i will sit down with tyrants, miscreants, i will sit down with the bad guys of the world, no preconditions and as a result we are paying the price. you see that intangible form with iran and cuba. it is a sense of weakness and acquiescence and indulgence. the greatest force for good in the history of the world is thrown out. as a result, our allies are not trusting us and our enemies are not fearing us. host: how would you be dealing with isis? mr. ehrlich: the intelligence
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was they were serious, and now we are sort of renting iranians to fight isis, which is a position of weakness. host: the iran deal? mr. ehrlich: i don't know how anybody can have a definitive opinion because nothing has been defined yet. how are you going to have snapped back sanctions if you have to go through the u.n.? host: do they have a right for a nuclear program? mr. ehrlich: we changed the denominator. our policy has always been no nuclear iran. now it is a nuclear iran on a schedule. that is a destabilizing force in the world. now the sunnis are saying, hey what about us. and do you extend the american nuclear umbrella to the arab allies like the saudis, the jordanians the uae and that is the question. the denominator has changed. host: a lot of people think we
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don't need a coalition built. a lot of people think we do. any immediate reaction to isis? mr. ehrlich: you always need coalitions in the world, but you operate from a position of strength. again, what do we get from cuba, what do we get from burma? it appears to me this president is predisposed -- and i think it is his philosophical approach to the issues -- predisposed to be relatively weak and indulgent. he began his presidency with an apology tour to the world. by the way, we never heard about all the american blood that was spilled over the years for the muslim world, for example. it was basically an apology tour. i think the president thinks we are an imperialist country. if we are in a peer list country, we are the worst imperialist in the world.
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the first question the american public asks whenever we put our service and the harm's way is what, what are they coming home? when are they coming home? we are a great country obviously, and you are giving me the sign so i will end, but we are not imperialist. but we should not be weak were apologetic for projecting american strength and interests around the world. host: stay with us. a lot of topics to cover. we will be right back. ♪ announcer: now conversation with the candidate continues. host: welcome back. tonight's guest, former maryland governor bob ehrlich. let's get right to our first question, coming from maureen. good to see you. >> welcome, governor. what do you feel is the biggest impediment republicans face in getting the party elected president?
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mr. ehrlich: young women and minorities. the democrats painted a narrative last time that a lot of young women bought into, the anti-woman's world, the woman thing, that mitt romney was going to prevent them from getting birth control pills, literally. republicans are against birth control, they are going to eliminate birth control. these ads may be anti-intellectual, they may be silly, but people buy them. a couple cycles ago, there were comets about race. these are two candidates, but in politics they take those comments, which are horrible comments, and they play into the narrative, and the narrative plays out, and then negatives work. in politics, people say they hate negative ads. guess what, if they did not work, nobody would use them ever. they work, trust me.
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the biggest problem in my view was the gender gap. the democrats have a gender gap, too, called e-mail gender gap, but women vote more than men and the female gap with republican candidates is there and very stark terms. i think as something to do with abortion, but less than it used to, quite frankly. it has to do i think with some of the messaging from the party as well. if you are a young woman with kids and you don't have an education, you are trying to make your way, do you want to hear talking about independence and entrepreneurship and freedom, or do you want to hear the democrats talking about hey, we are there for you and we will help you, we will have a social welfare state to help you? part of it is the messaging from the parties. i think we can do a better job at it. with regards to minorities particularly the hispanic vote, look at the new deal coalition.
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i merit a polish girl, i'm german, all these immigrants, and that used to be -- that was a new deal coalition, active urban immigrants. that was 50, 60 years ago. what is the basis of the republican party today? suburban, ethnic immigrants, second, third generation. as regards to hispanics, i think in the hispanic humanity in general we can do better, do well. there are a lot of values in the hispanic community that are with republican values, and we need to do a better job of selling it. that leads to immigration. we have to pass an immigration bill. security sovereignty we can get into the details, but as long as the democrats have this ability to say they are anti-immigrant, they are nativists, they don't care about you, if they play that narrative, it will affect us. with regard to
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african-americans, this is a show unto itself. the disconnect is gigantic. mike steele was my lieutenant governor, the first african-american governor in the state of maryland. i have been to lots of black churches and talk to lots of black pastors. the disconnect is real. mike steele was impeached because of the color of his skin. it was racist. we have to get to a country where it is ok to be black and republican. mike was pro-life and catholic, too. and right now, in certain segments of our society, that is not the case. by the way, i don't use the term reaching out, because it's a two-way street. i believe and i'm cautiously optimistic, very optimistic for the hispanic vote. the women vote we need to work on. african-americans we have a long way to go. host: all right, so much for the one word answer. mr. ehrlich: it's a complex
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question. guess what, that answer is a function of where the country is going to go. because if we can do some of that and make progress, we will win the election. host: thank you, governor, and thank you for the question. next question. >> welcome, governor. how do use a just that we expand social security and preserve social security? mr. ehrlich: raise the retirement age, fix the disability -- social security disability has increased fourfold over the last six years. i don't think claims have increased fourfold over six years. and i think we have to make these very difficult decisions. i wrote about this in my second book. we are living longer. the life tables are what they are. we are not in the depression, we are not in the new deal anymore. so i think the next president at some point has to get serious
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about entitlements. and it's not just social security. it's also medicare. it's also medicaid. we need a reconciliation bill in congress that we can get enough democrats to vote on. president bush tried, as you know, tried. he was absolutely, absolutely crushed trying to reform social security. as long as class warfare is a component of the attack on social security, it will be difficult to attract democratic votes to get real reform done. but leave ♪ real leaders lead. ronald reagan sat down with, who? tip o'neill. they did not agree on anything and they sat down together and they agreed on comprehensive tax reform that lasted until now. by the way, we need comprehensive tax reform. they sat down together.
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presidents lead. to achieve reform, medicare, medicaid, social security, whatever it is, you need to lead. this president does not even talk to congress or the senate. it is not his comfort zone. we need a president who will go up the street, sit down with the majority leader, minority leader and lead the country. this is the only way it will happen. as wrong at -- as long as the republicans agree unilaterally, the republicans will get crushed. and that disability, that will be bankrupt in less than two years. >> what about eliminating the cap? mr. ehrlich: on. >> social security. mr. ehrlich: everything should be on the table. it is in my book. you have to be honest with the numbers. host: our next question, erica. >> i'm right here. mr. ehrlich: everybody screws up
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my name, too. >> welcome governor. there is a growing opportunity gap across america. lower income kids often start school behind and have difficulties catching up with their peers. you think the public investments in early childhood intervention such as preschool can reverse this trend and help ensure that all kids, regardless of their backgrounds, can have an equal opportunity to succeed? mr. ehrlich: the objective evidence does not show it as quite successfully as you would wanted to become early intervention, but im for all of the above when it comes to school choice. getting back to baltimore, i fought these fights in the past. i thought the unions, i thought the status quo. i'm a scholarship kid. i got the opportunity to go to a private school because i was an athlete. a lot of kids are not athletes. but i can tell you this, in the fights i had in maryland, they
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were significant and i lost. i lost. the unions and the progressives beat me. and i'm talking about schools where the passage rates were 10% , 20%, 30%. in my view, when we accept that multigenerational dysfunction, we are denying those kids their congressional lights. it is immoral, and bottom, after all is said and done, we are making our society more unsafe. i have been to more jails -- not as an offender, but i have been to more jails than all of you combined. trust me when i tell you this -- a lot of these kids were sent to dysfunctional schools, but the two denominators, the two elements i heard most often were i did not have a dad and i started marijuana. when you add those two elements to dysfunctional public schools,
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we are literally denying these kids their constitutional rights. and as someone who thought these battles in the past, we need to be for all of the above. if it is dysfunctional, private vendor, charter, residential charter, i don't care what it is. because when you go home tonight and you think about what started this riot the other day, think about the education those kids are receiving and think about with more dads in homes telling their son not to show up at the protest rally and start looting maybe baltimore is not the story of the country today. host: thank you. let's keep going dan. a piece of legislation you may have heard of, governor. mr. ehrlich: it's not obamacare, is it? >> my family lived right across
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from ocean city, maryland, and delaware. a little closer to home, my wife and daughter have complete coverage for preventative health services and my 19-year-old son gets to stay on our health plan for at least another seven years. my question to you, what is -- what would an ehrlich plan due to the affordable care act? mr. ehrlich: if burwell is decided the way that i think it is going to be decided, which is a supreme court case, we will have a mess because the subsidies are going to go away. mild target of is this -- if you like obamacare, keep it. if you want more freedom to secure a health insurance policy that meets your circumstances not a one-size-fits-all from washington, that meets your health care needs, you should be able to secure that policy by having policies written across state lines.
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this is going to be a huge issue in american politics. if the supreme court comes out the wayy i think they're going to, people are going to lose their subsidies. concerning medicaid, if the issue was just expanding medicaid, the president should have just said, all right, let's expand medicaid. it would have been a much more honest way to do this. the way this was brought about was negligent, sloppy. a lot of people have less choice. deductibles have increased. it has helped some people, it has hurt others. for those on medicaid, it has helped. if that was the grand plan to get more people covered, the president should have just said, let's expand medicaid, here is the moral case for, let's do it. he did not do it. it is happening incrementally but with regard to medicaid, i really like governors having more waiver authority to implement that program. host: dan, thank you for the
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questions. a lot of governors in this race. mr. ehrlich: governors are good. >> hello. do you have a plan that would significantly improve the positions for new housing starts? mr. ehrlich: we have a mess. please read my first book, the chapter about mortgages. oh, you already -- >> i'm a real estate agent. mr. ehrlich: do you care to give me your view on how this started? >> no. host: you are the candidate. [laughter] >> i know what happened. i'm a real estate agent. mr. ehrlich: politician said you can get a mortgage regardless of your income, regardless of your credit rating, regardless of your ability to achieve a down payment. and then when supply for mortgages got to fannie and freddie, they said, we cannot sell these. and then the president said we
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will lower down standards, right. then what happened? we sold the toxic mortgages to the world and what happened? one of the worst recessions this country has ever seen. i was on the house banking committee when the community reinvestment act became the subject. what happened was advocate said to the banks, if you want a good cra rating, you will write these mortgages, you will write the subprime mortgages. fast-forward, the banks write tehhem, the world goes down the economy goes down, and what happens on the backside? the obama administration comes in and says because you wrote those mortgages, you will pay significant fines. by the way, i'm not just blaming one group, but politics has never paid a price. the raiding houses were into it, fannie and freddie, the whole industry bought into this notion
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it does not matter what you make, it does not matter your credit rating. and that's wrong. and so you have a lot of reform initiatives in congress, reforming fannie and freddie. did you see the news today? the stress test, they may be a couple hundred ilion under. so there are some good housing proposals in washington, but the bottom line is this -- we need to get away -- and the president by the way is moving back again to dangerous territory. i was raised in an apartment. if you cannot afford a house it's ok. you don't have a constitutional right to a house if you cannot afford it. we want you to buy a house. it's about america. it's the foundation of this country. but it's ok to live in an apartment for a while if you cannot afford a house. it's ok to save your money. it's ok to get your credit rating up. host: about a minute to go. mr. ehrlich: we are up already?
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the bottom line is we cannot afford that same mistake again. and i think the president needs to lead in that regard as well. host: does the federal government have a role in making sure that these banks do not get too big to fail? mr. ehrlich: you want that? guest: the general philosophy. mr. ehrlich: dodd-frank has real problems and needs to be reformed, and a republican congress can do it. host: thank you very much for the questions. that is all we half or this portion of the show. while we are signing off on television, this conversation with governor ehrlich continues online and our mobile app as well. it will be a full 30 minutes more, questions from our studio audience, commercial free. thank you very much for watching and have a good night. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.
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visit] >> on the next "washington journal," rail safety, the upcoming vote on transportation funding, and other items on the congressional agenda, including the patriot act. then steve russell on government waste, the current tax code, and the defense program bill on the house. "washington journal" is live 7 a.m. every morning on c-span. join the conversation on facebook and twitter. >> here are some of our featured programs this weekend on the c-span networks. saturday morning at 10:00 eastern, we are at the internet and television expo in chicago for what consumers can expect for the future and innovation. speakers include the comcast
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chairman and ceo brian roberts colonists and authors, and the fcc chairman tom wheeler. sunday morning at 10: 30, president obama is at georgetown university discussing ideas on how to alleviate poverty in the united states. one c-span2, beginning at 10:00 eastern on "tv," -- on book tv, we are live from gaithersburg at the city hall for the gaithersburg book festival. and sunday evening at 9:00 on afterwords caroline fredrickson on the impact of labor and employment laws on working women and their families. one american history tv on c-span3 saturday afternoon at 2:00 eastern oral histories, remembering the liberation of not see concentration camps with an interview on her life and the jewish ghettos after the nazi
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invasion in the 1945 death march. and sunday night, u.s. naval war college professor john mauer on the relationships with said churchill developed with american presidents. get our complete schedule at >> president obama met with arab leaders at camp david as part of the gulf cooperation council summit. following the meeting, the president talked to reporters about the summit and offered condolences for victims of the amtrak crash in philadelphia. president obama: good evening. before i get to what we discussed here today with our partners, i want to express my deepest condolences of the families of those who died in the amtrak crash. i want to express my gratitude for the first responders who save the lives and for the many
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passengers, who despite their own injuries made heroic efforts to get other passengers to safety. for a lot of people on that train, it was a routine journey, a commute, a business trip. for the employees who were hurt, it was their office, and that makes this all the more tragic. until we know for certain what caused the tragedy, i want to reiterate what i have said, that we are a growing country with a growing economy. we need to invest in the infrastructure that keeps us that way and not just when something bad happens, but all the time. that is what great nations do. i offer my prayers for those who grieve, a speedy recovery for the many who were injured as they work to recover, and we will cooperate at every level of government to make sure that we get answers in terms of what happened. now, to the work that brought us to camp david, for the past 70 years, the u.s. has maintained a
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core national security interest in the security and stability of the middle east and gulf region. since i took office, we have intensified our security cooperation with our gulf cooperation council partners. saudi arabia, kuwait, qatar. at a time of extraordinary challenges across the middle east, including conflicts with human suffering, we cooperate extensively, countering terrorist groups like al qaeda and now isil, opposing the
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assad regime's war against the syrian people, and opposing iran's destabilizing action across the middle east. i invited our partners here today to work together to resolve conflicts across the region. i want to thank each of the leaders who attended. we agreed that the security relationship we have is a cornerstone of regional stability and our relationship is a two-way street. we all have responsibilities and at camp david, we decided to expand our partnership in several ways. first, i am reaffirming our commitment to the security of our gulf partners. the u.s. has prepared to work jointly with gcc member states to deter and confront an external threat to anything inconsistent with the event of
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such aggression, the u.s. stands ready to work with our partners to determine what actions may be appropriate using the means of our collective disposal, including the use of military force for the defense of our gcc partners. let me underscore the u.s. keeps our commitments. to back up our words with deeds, we will increase our already extensive security cooperation. we will expand our military exercises to meet the full range of threats, in particular terrorism. this means more training and cooperation between our special operations forces, sharing more information and stronger border security, and increased enforcement to prevent terrorist financing. we will step up our efforts to counter violent extremism and will expand our cooperation on maritime security.
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third, we will help our gulf partners improve their own capacity to defend themselves. the u.s. will expedite the transfer of critical defense capabilities to our gcc partners. we will work together to develop an integrated defense capability against missiles, including an early warning system, and we will work for the development of rapid response capabilities. fourth, we pledge to work together to try to resolve armed conflicts in the region and we have articulated core principles to guide our efforts. respect for state sovereignty, recognition that these conflicts can only be resolved politically, and acknowledgment of the importance of inclusive governments and the need to protect human rights. with respect to syria, we commit to continuing to strengthen the moderate opposition to oppose all violent extremist groups and to intensify our efforts to
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achieve a negotiated political transition toward an inclusive government that serves all syrians. we will continue to support the iraqi government and in reforms to ensure the rights of all iraqis are respected. we welcomed the humanitarian truce in yemen. so aid can reach civilians and we call on all parties to return to political talks facilitated by the u.n. we will step up our efforts to form a national unity government in libya and counter the growing terrorist presence there. fifth, i updated our goal -- our gulf partners on the negotiations toward a comprehensive deal to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. we agree a comprehensive
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verifiable solution that addresses the concerns about the nuclear program is in the security interests of the international community, including our gcc partners. whether we reach a nuclear deal or not with iran, we will still face threats across the region including destabilizing activities and threats from terrorist groups. we will work together. i will be very clear -- the purpose of security cooperation is not to perpetuate any long-term confrontation with iran. none of our nations have an interest in an open-ended conflict with iran.
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we welcome an iran that takes a responsible role in the region. as i've said before, ending the tensions in the region and resolving the devastating conflicts will require a broader dialogue. one that includes iran and its gcc neighbors. a key purpose of our partners is to ensure they can deal with iran politically diplomatically, from a position of confidence and strength. finally, while the summit was focused on security cooperation, events in the middle east are a reminder that true and lasting security includes governance that serves all citizens and respects universal human rights. in the middle east, the u.s. will speak out on behalf of of inclusive governance, representation, strong human rights, and we will work to
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opportunities that allow people to fulfill their potential. i want to thank all of our gcc partners for making the summit a success. i believe the commitment i have described can mark the beginning of a new era of cooperation between our countries, a closer, stronger partnership that advances our mutual security. i will take some questions and i will start with julie because i promised her i would call on her. reporter: you mentioned in your statement broad support for stopping iran from getting a nuclear weapon. did you get any specific commitments from the gulf leaders for the framework reached a few months ago and a commitment to not publicly oppose a deal if you're able to reach that? how can you really assure them that iran would not continue that activity if they had an influx of money when they are
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already accused of doing so now with a weaker economy? president obama: we didn't have a document that we presented to them to sign on the bottom line, will you approve of this nuclear framework deal, because the deal is not completed, and in the same way i wouldn't ask the senate or the american people to sign off on something before they have seen the details of it and given i will not sign off on any deal until i see the details, i would not expect them to either. what i did hear from our gcc partners was there agreement that if we can get a comprehensive, verifiable deal that cuts off the pathways to a nuclear weapon, that would be in
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their interest and the interest of the region. the question then will be is iran repaired to do what is required for the international community that they are not developing a nuclear weapon and that we have set up the kind of regimes that allow such confidence to be maintained, not just next year but out into the future. what we did was we had secretary kerry, secretary ernie moneys, to walk through why it was we were confident that if the framework we arrived at were to be solidified that in fact, we could verify they didn't have a nuclear weapon and that was important to them and i think gave them additional confidence. there was a concern, a concern i


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